Who doesn’t like the smell of a freshly baked tsoureki bread? This version is soft and fluffy and contains unique ingredients such as mastiha and mahleb, distinct flavours and aromas. This bread is the ultimate accompaniment with your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Our version uses the zest of 1 lemon instead of orange as we find this blends in much nicer with the spices used in this recipe.
Tsoureki recipe (Greek Easter bread)Course: Breakfast, AppetizersCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Medium
5 eggs (room temperature)
145g butter (room temperature)
9 cups self-rising flour
lemon zest (1 lemon)
1 cup of milk (lukewarm)
1 tablespoon of mahlepi
1 tablespoon of mastiha
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
1 cup of white sugar
olive oil (Optional)
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of salt
- Combine dry yeast, tablespoon white sugar into a medium-size bowl.
- Slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water to ingredients.
- Mix ingredients thoroughly (this begins the yeast activation process)
- Add a teaspoon of salt, continuing the mixing process.
- Sift into wet ingredients 1 cup of self-rising flour, continuing the mixing process.
- Once combined, sift 1 additional teaspoon of self-rising flour over the mixture (do not mix).
- Cover bowl with cling wrap and tea towels, place in a warm area for 30 minutes.
- Add butter and half cup white sugar in the mixer bowl, mixing on high speed.
- Separate 4 egg yolks and egg whites into separate bowls.
- Add egg yolks into the mixer bowl, combining eggs with butter and sugar.
- Slowly add the remainder of the sugar.
- The mixture will begin to fluff up (creamy consistency), add 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, 1 tablespoon mahlebi spice, 1 tablespoon mastiha and zest of 1 lemon.
- Continue the mixing process for a further 15 minutes or until all ingredients have combined and dissolved.
- Beat egg whites until foamy and thick consistency.
- Bowl with activated ingredients should have doubled in size.
- Add 1 cup lukewarm milk to activated ingredients, mixing through thoroughly.
- Stop the mixer, gently folding through egg white mixture.
- Transfer mixer bowl into a large bowl adding activated ingredients (combining together).
- Slowly combine sifted self-rising flour into the bowl, mixing through thoroughly until mixture comes together.
- Continue to combine mixture (kneading), adding flour as needed.
- The mixture should come together, not sticking to bowl or hands.
Place dough in the bowl and dust additional sifted flour over dough coving with cling wrap and tea towels, place in a warm area for 2 hours or until the dough has risen (Dough braiding technique demonstrated in our video starting at 6:52 until 9:52).
- Cover braided doughs with cling wrap and tea towels, placing in a warm area for a further 30 minutes (bread will rise one final time).
- Preheat oven at 200C and before baking reduce to 180C.
- Beat 1 whole egg, adding 1 teaspoon of milk.
- Apply egg mixture over dough sprinkling almond flakes over the top of each dough mixture.
- Bake each dough mixture for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow cooling for 10 minutes before serving.
- Be very careful not to overuse Mahleb or Mastic, doing so will be overpowering, leaving a bitter aftertaste.
- Tsourekia should be stored in a sealed container, doing so retains freshness.
- You can use a muffin tray to make Nutella tsourekia muffins (Nutella to be added to the centre of dough).
- This recipe makes 4 medium sized tsourekia.